Mumbaikar files PIL opposing Mumbai Metro Rail project

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), Reliance Metro, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the Fire Department to file affidavits in reply to a petition opposing the phase one of the Metro railway which will connect suburban Versova with Ghatkopar.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah, gave the direction in response to a public interest litigation filed by Monica Matani, a city resident.

Mumbai metro
The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro during the trial run of the 3-km stretch between Versova and Azad Nagar stations

The court has sought replies by October 24. According to Mathani, the project violates several safety norms. For instance, the PIL says, while the latest rules mandate six metres open space around every building, the buildings adjoining the Metro network stand closer, which would make fire brigade vehicles difficult to move in if fire breaks out. Also, high-tension electric wires run over the metro bridges and this poses a fire hazard, the PIL states.

The petitioner had last year filed the public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court alleging violation of Development Control Regulations (DCRs) and fire safety norms during the construction of the Mumbai Metro phase I (Versova- Andheri-Ghatkopar), .

Matani had claiemd that the city fire department had granted No Objection Certificate to the project without proper verifications. Besides, the state Urban Development Department, planning body MMRDA and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had violated several rules and have put lives of the citizens living near the upcoming metro stations as well as that of potential commuters in danger, the petition had claimed.

Apart from cancellation of the NOC, the PIL has also prayed for stay to the construction of these 12 stations.

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